A successful farmer and rancher, Jim Nielsen grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley and graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business. After college, Jim Nielsen worked as a ranch foreman. He later founded a company that utilized rice hulls and rice straw for fuel, and continued to operate the family cattle, field and row-crop ranch.
Jim Nielsen was elected in November 2008 to represent the North State's 2nd Assembly District in the State Legislature. The district includes Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama and Yolo counties. A strong fiscal conservative and expert on fiscal policy, Jim Nielsen was named the lead Republican on state budget issues.
He had previously served the North State as a member of the Senate and as Senate Republican Leader.
From his position as Budget Vice Chair and member of the Assembly Republican Leadership, Nielsen spearheaded the challenge to liberal tax increase plans, and rallied conservatives in favor of fiscal responsibility, smaller government, a stronger economy and more jobs for the people of California.
Jim Nielsen's extensive record of leadership and public service makes him one of California's most recognized government reform advocates. Nielsen has proposed hundreds of specific reforms to reform state government regulations and reduce out-of-control state spending.
Nielsen authored legislation to reform California's welfare system and reduce welfare fraud. Nielsen co-authored California's landmark Victims Bill of Rights and Marsy's Law.
Jim Nielsen is also a leader in strengthening private property rights in California. He is the Founder of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights that is currently at the forefront of the effort to limit governments' ability to seize private property through eminent domain. Nielsen is also working side-by-side with farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin to fight efforts by overzealous government bureaucrats to steal their historic water rights. Nielsen authored a law to protect 'area-of-origin' water rights in California.
Nielsen has written and spoken extensively on California public policy and his commentaries have appeared in major newspapers across California. Jim Nielsen is also a frequent guest on local and national radio and television programs. Taxpayer organizations and small business advocates have honored Jim Nielsen for his leadership on state budget issues and for his unrelenting fight against profligate government spending.
Jim is married to Marilyn and has two daughters, three sons and three grandchildren.
The Fourth Senate District includes the beautiful counties of Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba Counties.